Is there a difference between website content and website copy?
Are they just the same?
Many writers have the wrong impression that both are the same.
But for the real marketer, they’re not.
Have you been in a situation where you were planning to stick to your budget this week, yet you found an enticing Facebook ad on your newsfeed of a product? The Facebook ad happened to be a 2-minute video with a great question as an intro, followed by an all familiar problem that you face, and then finally mentioned a good solution that may solve your problem — only when you click the Learn More button below the video.
And so you were redirected to their website. You then got the chance to read through their products, the features, the advantages, the benefits. Unknowingly, you’ve already spent almost an hour just going through their website. And it hit you. You’ve made a decision. You’re buying!
While website content can typically refer to press releases, company updates, news, executive summaries, or product descriptions that we see on packages; website copy has a different goal. Every piece of content that you create has the end goal of converting people from a visitor to a buyer. You write text for the purpose of advertising or marketing, and not just for the sake of putting content out there. This is the scenario to the example I’ve mentioned above.
What are examples of website copy? A lot! We have blog posts, on-page text, PDF guides, white papers, ebooks, social media updates, and plenty more.
Top 10 Things That Content Marketers Consider When Writing Persuasive Website Copy
Before we move forward to what this article is all about, let’s ask: how do content marketers write quality website copy?
If you were lucky enough to know what it was like during the early days of the web, then you’re probably aware that the websites of the good old day were boring! What all business just did was fill their websites with their existing brochures, press releases, company updates, reports, and a whole lot more! There wasn’t any element of fun, personality, and sense of community. Many of these websites were like screaming to people, “Hey now you’ve read this, buy this!”
Fast forward to today, and websites are all about personalized content that connects directly to website visitors.
What are the elements the elements that content marketers consider when writing their copy?
1. They do informal copywriting.
Content marketers know that they don’t have to be too formal or entrepreneurial in their approach to writing website copy. Depending also on the backgrounds of their customers, they write copy that even a 7th grader can understand. Unless the target customers are doctors, lawyers, and the likes, the words that they use should be relatable and simple enough to understand.
2. They do great storytellling techniques.
Great content marketers have to be great storytellers. They need to find a way to connect a customer’s problem to the solutions they can provide, which hopefully can provide better quality and convenience to their target market.
3. They use familiar words and avoid figures of speech.
Good copywriters always keep it simple. Their goal is to communicate their sales message that an average reader can understand. They don’t aim to appear clever to their readers. They know that familiar words always work best. They don’t use figures of speech; what is the guarantee that everyone can understand what they mean anyway. On top of that, they refrain from exaggerations as well as academic or challenging words.
4. They have focused content.
When content marketers did their homework well when it comes to understanding their readers and ideal customers, writing focused copy isn’t a tough thing to do. They know perfectly well the right words to use in order to effectively communicate their sales message. At the same time, their goal is to inform and not to sell.
5. They keep SEO in mind.
Content marketers think about their readers and audience, and do a lot of research. By doing so, they can also figure it out what the most commonly typed keywords are on the search engines when people are looking for something to know or buy.
6. They pay attention to addressing the problems or pain points of customers.
No website can ever be persuasive to the eyes of the reader is they’re not even seeing anything that’s centered on their needs? Why? Because customers always think about themselves! They’re not on your website to make friends with you, or to buy from you only because you have a visually impressive website design. Content marketers who write effective copy are all about satisfying the needs of the ideal customer.
7. They choose captivating headlines, use bullet points, and place effective sub-headers.
People are lazy when it comes to reading. Great copywriters ensure that their text are skimmable. In this regard, they ensure that they write for busy people who can easily skim the text on the website when their aim is to find the sections that speak to them.
8. They aim to be descriptive with their website copy.
Want good copy for your products? Be descriptive! Draw your readers in by sharing how you came up with your products or services, how you realized this passion, the features that make your products capable of helping you make your life easier. Describe everything in a manner that will make people want what you can offer.
9. They believe that web copy and web design should go together.
Copywriters aim for perfection! While great copy is extremely important, we also can’t neglect the fact that a great web design is among the many factors that can say a lot about you or your business.
10. They provide useful information.
Content marketers with conversational and realistic copywriting skills always write for their audience. The goal is not to sell right away, but to provide them with useful information in the hopes of converting them from website visitors to paying customers.
With these 10 important factors that content marketers look out for when writing persuasive website copy, how do we summarize them in just three areas?
The 3 Most Important Principles to Writing Engaging Website Copy
It’s actually very basic. There are a lot to think about when mapping out your website copywriting strategies. Yet it all boils down to three basic yet often forgotten principles.
When you keep these three things in mind, you ensure that your website copy is engaging.
1. Implement systematized customer research methods.
Everything starts with good customer research. When you don’t outline who your target customers are, it may be difficult for you to write a good website copy that’s focused to your customer profiles.
Today’s modern marketers do this by plotting out their buyer personas. Hubspot defines a buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers”.
It is simply grouping your customers into several groups based on their demographics, age, buying behavior, backgrounds, and many other factors. Setting up your buyer personas allow you to create copy for email, social media post, blog post, and many others in a manner that speaks specifically to one group of ideal customer.
2. Write for the lazy reader.
Don’t appear too clever, creative, or academic on your website copy unless your ideal customers are. Always aim to write for your audience. Consider the possibility that they’re too busy, reading isn’t among their hobbies, and that they want useful information fast without having to read everything.
One of the factors that make people want to leave your website quick is if they’re greeted with too much text, say in the description of your product.
Use captivating headlines, relevant sub-headlines, and include the most vital information in bullet points. Every time Apple launches a new iPhone, people would like to see right away what makes the new product different from the last one. So they research online on Google and look for vital information on the new product’s features by focusing on what will make it an important part of their lives. When they’re presented in bullets, it becomes easier for the customer to arrive at a well-informed purchase decision.
3. Address the visitor’s problems.
Different people, different problems. The important thing is you have your buyer personas to help you out in assessing what most customers’ common problems are. In this regard, you can quickly anticipate your reader’s questions so you can quickly answer them.
Addressing their pain points in a timely-manner is a surefire way of gaining their trust. In a world where you and your competitors are fighting to gain a potential customer’s attention, your sense of urgency and anticipation to objections can bring you on top of your game.
There you have it! The three basic principles behind a good website copy.
Did you notice something?
All the three principles talk about one thing. Can you guess what it is?
They are all focused to the customer!
So remember, in everything you write on your website, there’s only one thing you should think of: the customers and their satisfaction.
When it comes to a compelling, engaging, and persuasive copy, have the customer your top of mind. Research about their buying behaviors. Write for your audience and use simple words. Most of all, address their problems; be the resource that they need and they will run you and your products or services.
That’s definitely a great idea than chasing after customers, right? Share this blog post if you found our guide on good website copy meaningful and useful.
Liz Azyan is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society. Get involved with Liz’s latest project here.